Did Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen anticipate the Polar Vortex? The cowl-neck cashmere sweaters and matching asymmetric hand-knit skirts that started their show this morning were so prodigious, you couldn't help but think they might've. Of course, the Row woman doesn't wait for a weather event to wear the world's finest fabrics. She does it because they feel divine and look quietly spectacular. Lucky her, that she can afford them.
The riches here didn't stop with those hand-knits. A fair majority of this collection was made with 900-gram double-face cashmere. Backstage, the Olsens explained that once they laid their hands on the stuff, they were instantly obsessed. With material that fine, they said, the only thing to do was "focus on shapes and draping." Nothing too complicated, though. Softly A-line jackets with broad collars and lapels, skirts that fell loosely to the mid-calf, and fringed blanket wraps telegraphed an understated elegance, one that made a priority of comfort—a sentiment that was underscored by the slouchy ankle socks and handmade exotic-skin derby shoes that accessorized each and every look. A polished black crocodile bucket bag with a bright red lining spoke a little louder about privilege—that was a five-figure trifle for sure.
Ultimately, however, the lasting impression was one of quietude. Smack in the middle of New York fashion week, it strikes us that stillness just might be the one true luxury. The absence of details was a defining characteristic even of their evening suggestions. A sleeveless, slightly cocoon-shaped dress was cut from silvery-white fil coupe with a barely perceptible medallion pattern. And the black silk satin of the finale was bonded with a stiffer material to lend it a more sculptural quality. It had drama in spades, and without a single embroidery. Having grown up in the middle of a paparazzi maelstrom, the Olsens have probably had a hankering for this kind of calm all along. In that sense, this was the truest evocation of their brand yet.